Published Online: September 18, 2012
Published in Print: September 19, 2012, as Teacher Compensation Is 'One Piece of the Puzzle'


Teacher Compensation Is 'One Piece of the Puzzle'

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Laura Overdeck, Arthur Levine, and Christopher Daggett are exactly on target in "Rethinking Teacher Compensation" (Aug. 22, 2012). Indeed, we must reassess and front-load how we pay teachers as a first step toward attracting and keeping the most effective candidates. However, front-loading compensation is incomplete.

Compensation is only one piece of the puzzle in attracting, retaining, and motivating the quality and type of teachers we need. Study after study tells us that working conditions trump or equal compensation when teachers consider the qualities of their profession.

In addition, simply raising salaries on top of current structures that do not differentiate based on performance and labor-market contexts neglects the significant impact of these two factors on teacher retention and the ultimate quality of the workforce.

Current compensation structures that mostly differentiate based on years in the job and education attainment provide financial incentives for less effective individuals to enter and stay. Meanwhile, teaching becomes a less attractive option for individuals with higher salary opportunities in the labor market.

Rethinking teacher compensation is a first step. But restructuring the teaching job is the way to truly have an impact on the bottom line: student performance.

Karen Hawley Miles
Executive Director
Education Resource Strategies
Watertown, Mass.

Vol. 32, Issue 04, Page 30

Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories